49ers place franchise tag on Franklin
AP Sports Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The San Francisco 49ers placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin on Tuesday and hope to lock him up with a long-term contract.
The Niners made the move before Thursday’s deadline. Franklin will be allowed to negotiate with other teams when he becomes a free agent next month, but San Francisco can match any offer or receive two first-round picks as compensation.
Franklin is guaranteed just more than $7 million next season with the tag, but the Niners want to sign him to a longer contract.
“Aubrayo has proven to be a valuable contributor to our defense and we are looking forward to having him on our team going forward,” general manager Scot McCloughan said. “Although a contract extension has not been completed at this time, we will continue to have discussions with Aubrayo and his agent.”
Franklin would have been one of the more coveted free agents on the market if the Niners had not placed the tag on him as widely expected. He emerged as one of the top nose tackles in the league last season with 36 tackles, two sacks and an interception.
Franklin, 29, has recorded 291 tackles, four sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles in his seven-year career. He originally was a fifth-round pick by Baltimore in 2003 and joined the Niners as a free agent before the 2007 season.
Franklin is the second player to be designated as a franchise player this year, following New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.